Monday, February 4, 2013


If Ed Koch never existed, and some screenwriter came up with a character who looked, sounded, and acted like him who had the second hardest job in America for three terms, I don't think the audience would have believed it.

Mayor Koch was just that, a character. But in everything he did, his love for the City of New York shone through. He was one of those people - like Bob Hope, Milton Berle, and George Burns, even Richard Simmons - who could probably only be seen as themselves by the viewing public. (In the alternate TV dimension of 'Spin City' - which also houses 'Hail To The Chief', 'Mr. President', and either 'Veep' or '1600 Penn' - Koch first appeared on the Michael J. Fox sitcom as Speaker Rosen. But he wasn't fooling anybody; everybody knew he was Koch. The show's creative team wisely accepted that for his next visit to the show.)

And Mayor Koch racked up quite an impressive tally of appearances as himself in Toobworld. And not all of them were NYC-based sitcoms - twice his presence was felt in Rome, Wisconsin!

Here's a list of those shows:
  • 'Barney Miller'
    – Inauguration (1978) (voice) (uncredited) 
  • 'Saturday Night Live'
     – Billy Crystal/Ed Koch/Edwin Newman/Don Novello/Betty Thomas/The Cars (1984)
    – Billy Crystal/Al Jarreau (1984)
    – Ed Koch/Kevin Rowland & Dexy's Midnight Runners (1983)
    – The Rolling Stones (1978) 
  • 'Gimme a Break!'
    – The Big Apple: Part 1 (1984) 
  • 'My Two Dads'
    – The Family in Question (1988)
  • 'C.P.W.'
    – Days of Thunder (1995) 
  • 'Double Rush'
    – The Documentary (1995) 
  • 'Picket Fences'
    – Changing of the Guard (1995)
    – Turpitude (1993)
As I already mentioned, 'Spin City' takes place in an alternate TV dimension, so that Ed Koch is a doppelganger. 

 'Saturday Night Live' is an interesting case. As far as his hosting duties - the monologue, introduction of the musical acts, etc. - that was the televersion of Ed Koch in the main Toobworld. But his appearances in the sketches would take place in Skitlandia.

(Not that I cover the Cineverse, but he also played himself in a couple of movies, including "The First Wives' Club" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan".)

His first televersion was only vocal - he was heard giving his inaugural speech when he was first elected to the office of Mayor (at which time Detective Harris was given a chance to join the City Hall detail.)

And then there was his long run as the Judge on 'The People's Court', one of the few reality shows which I think can exist easily in Toobworld. (Thanks to the alternate dimension version in a Soviet controlled United States, as seen in the pilot for 'Sliders'.)

Even though this month we're showcasing Billy Dee Williams' entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame and I don't want to take anything away from that, I think I'll stick with the current policy of immediately inducting qualified applicants upon their passing.

And so it is that the Hall of Fame welcomes its newest member, "Hizzoner", Mayor Ed Koch......


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